I couldn't get this little scene out of my mind, and attempts #1 and #2 weren't satisfying, so there was nothing else I could do but work out the difficulties on paper. This time I lightened things up quite a bit, changed the arrangement somewhat (I love artistic license!), and softened some of the edges. I'm actually happy with this one and feel like it's time to move on.
Path Through the Ferns #3, 8x10 pastel on Grey Canson